So, you have grown and harvested your first batch of microgreens and now you are just staring at your tray of harvested greens and wondering, “do microgreens regrow after cutting?” or “what to do with this soil? Can I reuse it? Shall I dump it in the trash?”
If this is you, then read this article till the end because we have covered it all for you.
Microgreens are, in simple terms, leafy vegetables which are harvested at a younger stage, when they grow their first cotyledon leaves, and in some cases, the first set of true leaves. If you are looking for a short answer to all your questions, then yes. Some varieties of microgreens do regrow after you harvest them first, but some don’t.
For some varieties, you can reuse the same growing medium and soil multiple times and for some, you have to use a new medium with new soil altogether.
But then again you might ask, “what to do with the roots and soil that can’t be used again?”
Don’t worry, this article will provide you with all the information you need to know about regrowing certain varieties of microgreens and what to do with those which do not regrow. This article will also provide you with all the information about how to reuse the soil or what to do with an old batch of soil that has lost its nutritional value.
So, do microgreens really regrow after harvesting?
Fortunately, as mentioned above, some varieties of microgreens can be regrown. You can enjoy a few harvests from the same batch of seeds. Once you see your greens having shunted growth or pale color in subsequent batches or you see a difference in the taste of your greens, it’s time to empty that tray in your compost pit. Dumping your used soil and roots of the harvested greens in a compost pit is a great way of using that nutrient-rich soil to nourish the plants in your garden.
If are trying to regrow a batch then you will have to take care of the second batch just like you had been doing for the first one. This means exposing them to appropriate lighting conditions, maintaining the required temperature, and making sure you water them to keep them moist, not damp, but moist.
While regrowing you do not need to remove the seeds or germinate them again as it’s the shoots that will regrow. The shoots that you had harvested prior to regrowing will grow back and, possibly, be just as delicious and nutritious as the ones you had harvested before.
Which microgreens regrow after cutting?
Some of the microgreens have the tendency of regrowing. For an instance, a wheatgrass is a great option if you wish to regrow a batch multiple times. As these microgreens primarily include stems of wheatgrass rather than leaves, if you cut the stems above the soil line and leave a part of the stems in the soil, they have the tendency to regrow.
Some microgreens which are popular as “regrowers” include green peas, kale, fava beans, speckled peas, and even snow pears.
You can do your own experiment in trying to regrow your favorite microgreens by leaving an inch of the stem when you harvest your first batch. You can assess the results within a week and note down whether you can carry on regrowing with this variety of microgreens. It is imperative to maintain the appropriate moisture levels and temperature levels (~ 60-70°F) when regrowing the microgreens.
A stronger root structure is essential in regrowing microgreens and that’s why you are advised to grow your plants in a large pot or a tray. This will give your greens a healthy root structure and facilitate their regrowth.
What happens if you don’t harvest microgreens? Do they keep growing?
So, now that we have learned about do microgreens regrow after cutting or not let’s discuss, on a side note, a little about what happens if you don’t harvest them at all. Do they keep growing?
Yes, they do. In fact, if you let them grow beyond the typical duration of 14 days they are not referred to as microgreens anymore, they become baby greens. Baby greens are an elder version of microgreens.
What to do with microgreens roots and can you reuse the soil?
Growing microgreens indoors can be a cost-effective method but this method is also quite messy.
Once you have grown your microgreens and harvested them, you might be wondering what to do with the soil. You might be wondering whether you can reuse the soil or do you need to start with a new batch of soil altogether.
You can sort out this situation in two ways:
- Vermicompost: you can dump your tray of soil (with roots) into a vermicompost pit. Worms love organic matter. Worms feed on the stem, roots, the nutrients remaining in the soil, and anything that decays and returns you with a nutrient-rich black grade soil that acts as an organic fertilizer and an amazing growing medium for your next batch of microgreens.
You can make multiple compost pits and treat old soil in it to create new organic, nutrient-rich soil, this will also save you quite a few bucks on soil expenses, not to mention the better quality of microgreens that you’ll get in soil made from vermicompost!
- Turn-it-over method: the simplest and the most obvious way to reuse the soil is to turn it over and grow a new batch of microgreens on the backside of the soil. All you need to do is sprinkle a new batch of seeds on the backside and cover them with a new layer of soil.
The roots remaining in the lower level of the soil will compost themselves, however, the composting process is a bit slower than vermicomposting, but it is just as convenient and time worthy. Also, a word of caution, if done incorrectly, your microgreens may have the risk of mold growth.
Is it worth it to regrow microgreens after cutting?
As a grower you are free to experiment with your microgreens and regrow them or not, however, if you are doing it to save money then it might not be worth your time.
As mentioned above, regrowing microgreens from the same stems comes with one big compromise i.e. taste. So, if you are regrowing for personal use, that’s okay, but if you are doing it on a commercial basis, then it might not be worth your time.
If you are growing some of the best tasting and popular microgreens then we recommend you not regrow your batches. These microgreens are popular for their taste and regrowing them from the same seed will reduce their taste and delicacy.
If you try to regrow a batch of microgreens, then that batch is more prone to mold growth and may have stunted and lesser-nutrient growth. So, it’s always advised to grow a new, tasty batch of microgreens.
The worst part? The energy and time invested in it instead can be used to grow new microgreens.
The shelf life of the microgreens, when harvested and stored properly, depends on their type. Some of the most popular microgreens like sunflower, radish, buckwheat, red cabbage, etc, are known for holding their crunch and texture for a long time when properly stored.
In this article, we discussed do microgreens regrow after cutting and the varieties which do regrow, and which do not. We also discussed a little about what to do with the soil once you’re done harvesting your batch of microgreens. The methods of vermicomposting and turn-it-over are surely going to impress you and also, save some bucks on your soil expenses.
We have covered all the points necessary to give you all the important information about regrowing microgreens and reusing the soil. We hope you find this article and the tips discussed to be helpful.